Howie Lisnoff is a freelance writer and community college instructor.



5 thoughts on “About

  1. I read your article” Take Me Out To The Ballgame”( in CP ).Not only did I like it,but I have a proposal : Since owners are pushing to speed-up The Game (the game my sisters played, and our father played until he was 30-31 years old),why don’t we skip the National anthem!?And the fly-overs,& all the rest of the military show.And just keep ” Take Me Out To Ball Game” at the 7th inning stretch! Judo the owners,& cut 10-15 unwanted minutes out of our game. –D.

    • D. Keefe,
      Sounds good to me. How great it would be to go back to the days when the 7th inning stretch was just that and the National Anthem was played before the game and then they actually played a ballgame.

  2. Dear Howie,
    I appreciate your article “Take Me Out to the Ballgame.” You’ve somewhat beaten me to the point about the conjunction of baseball (indeed, just about all professional sports) and myopic American militarism and faux-patriotism. I’ve had a nascent essay about my disgust with professional baseball’s capitulation to American exceptionalism, imperialism, and nationalism in my files for a few years now, but political writing is a ways down on my personal list of priorities, and I still haven’t finished any of the related articles. So, I’m glad to see someone is thinking and questioning as I do!

    I grew up in southern New England, lived for 5 years in Boston (walking distance to Fenway for 3 years), and still follow the Red Sox as a New England expatriate living in northern California for 39 years. Despite great disenchantment with the capitalistic elements of the sport at the professional level, I cling to Sox loyalty as my sole remaining connection with the land where I grew up revering the Sox: Williams, Yastrzemski, Fisk, Tiant, et al., played out on the radio, on a game or so a week on TV, and in my heart and imagination on the fields of southern New England.

    I love the game for its multitude of metaphors and allegories for human struggle, and for its juxtaposition of control and liberty. As a player of the game for about 50 years, I loved the sport and the competition, the challenges and the disappointments and the camaraderie, but I now despise the corporatization of the professional leagues and players. I doubly despise the alignment of management and player sentiments towards nationalism, a direct contradiction of the sport’s international foundations and popularity, and an arrogant capitulation to power when the spirit of the game and competition have so much to offer towards international reconciliation — one of the few reasons I see any hope whatsoever in the Obama Administration’s decision to “normalize” relations with Cuba. Well, what about Venezuela, then? Or Palestine, for that matter? Who knows when a pitcher might emerge from Russia? Who knows where the next Willie Mays might be born?

    I’m sorry you won’t stay seated for the national anthem or any of the other vapid concessions to nationalism paraded out at just about every game. Then again, that’s why I won’t even go to games at all anymore — not in Oakland, not in San Francisco, and not in Boston when I do visit sporadically — I simply refuse to support the incorporation of the game for the sake of corporate profit and nationalism (but in the interest of full disclosure, I have paid corporate fees for watching games on my computer the past couple of years — and I regularly send emails to MLB and ESPN decrying blind obeisance to militarism and imperialism).

    The game, and with it the spirit of camaraderie and liberty and personal expression, appears to be sinking into an abyss of arrogance and stupidity, along with the rest of this nation’s sick obsession with righteousness and privilege. Baseball, despite its promise for uniting minds and hearts, appears poised to stick to its errant alignment with capitalism and American imperialism, and will sooner or later strike out.

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